How to promote your business without feeling like an idiot

Stefan Thomas 4Networking

My favourite moment at 4N meetings is when someone stands up during the 40 seconds and tells the group they’re working with another fantastic 4N member.

But it can be really frustrating when you know you’ve done a great job for someone and they’re not telling anyone! Just a handful of words could be enough to alert the rest of the room to what a great business you run.

It’s tempting to insist on shout-outs – as other networking groups do – but I think there’s another approach to spreading the word.

When someone tweets they’ve just read my book and enjoyed it, I tweet back thanking them. And then I send a private message thanking them again and saying if they could write a review, they would make my day.

You know, most people write a review.

When I close an event I say something like, “I never ask for a testimonial, but if you want to leave me one I’d be very grateful”.

I have 86 testimonials on my 4Netoworking profile. Something about this approach works.

Both personal and group requests have encouraged people to promote my business. What else works?

How can you encourage your clients to promote your business at 4N?

Lead by example
Have you heard of the phenomenon Social Proof? It’s also referred to as ‘herd behaviour’. It happens when people assume “the actions of others in an attempt to reflect the correct behaviour for a given situation.”

According to theory, if you start promoting other people at 4Networking events – and continue to do so – others will begin to do this to as it becomes the ‘correct behaviour’ for the group. For many 4Networking Groups, I believe it already is. What do you think?

Ask them there and then
No doubt you check in with your clients when you’ve completed a job. Perhaps you ask them in person, or on the phone or maybe you send them a questionnaire.

The next time you getting a beaming response, try this:

“Would you mind if I used what you just said as a testimonial on my website?”

Follow up with an email to confirm their words and then publish away!

How do you encourage people to say good things about your business? How have you surmounted frustration when no one seems to be singing your praises? 

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